Detroit-area porch shooter convicted of murder

DETROIT (USA TODAY) — Theodore Wafer, the man charged with fatally shooting an unarmed woman on his porch, was found guilty Thursday of second-degree murder, manslaughter and felony firearm.

A jury of seven men and five women convicted the 55-year-old Dearborn Heights, Mich., man in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.

Wafer will be sentenced Aug. 21.

After the verdict, Monica McBride, Renisha's mother, praised the prosecution.

"Her life mattered and we showed that," she said about her daughter.

Asked what he would say to the jury, Renisha's father, Walter Simmons said: "Thank you, thank you."

The jury received the case after eight days of testimony that included the first public comments from Wafer on the shooting.

The defense had argued that Wafer's actions were in self-defense, saying he was scared after hearing banging on his side and front doors. The prosecution said Wafer shot McBride through a locked screen door. They said Wafer came to the door with a loaded shotgun, released the safety, raised it at her, pulled the trigger and "blew her face off."

McBride was killed at about 4:30 a.m. Nov. 2 on Wafer's porch.

It's unclear why McBride was on Wafer's front porch, but hours before she was shot, McBride, who had been smoking marijuana and drinking vodka, hit a parked car about a half-mile from Wafer's house and may have suffered a concussion.

During closing arguments Wednesday, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Patrick Muscat said Wafer "wanted a confrontation."

Cheryl Carpenter, Wafer's attorney, said the pounding on Wafer's home was "getting louder and louder and louder and louder until the floors started vibrating, the walls were shaking, the window was about to break, the screen door was already broken."

The prosecution asked for Wafer to be remanded.

After the verdict was read, Carpenter said Wafer is not a flight risk or danger to the community. She said it would be better if Wafer came here for sentencing instead of being at the Wayne County Jail before sentencing. Carpenter said Wafer could be put on a tether.

"He's not a risk to society, your honor," said Carpenter.

Judge Dana Hathaway remanded Wafer.



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